Eastern Washington Aerial Wolf Kill Spares No Expense

Taxpayers Footing $50,000 Bill While Rancher Pays Pennies to Graze Cattle on Public Lands

Aerial Wolf Kills: At What Cost? (Graphic: Business Wire)

PROFANITY PEAK, Wash.--()--The State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is once again spending huge sums of state taxpayer money to exterminate a wolf pack in Eastern Washington, in order to spare a private rancher’s cattle while grazing on publicly-owned lands, according to Oliver Starr, a leading wolf advocate and activist with Good Wolf.

Although the rancher only pays $2.11 per cow-calf pair for access to federal public lands, the state will spend in excess of $50,000 to hire hunters and pilots, ferry supplies, and charter aircraft in an attempt to take out an entire wolf pack.

WFDW is a big spender in eastern Washington when it comes to wolf kills. In 2012, it spent $77,000 of taxpayer money to take out all but two of the 8-member Wedge family of wolves. In 2014, it spent $58,000 to kill just one member – the breeding female – of the Huckleberry wolf pack family. Now it is upping its game, seeking to take out all 11 members of the Profanity Peak wolf family.

“WFDW has a history of sparing no expense to take out wolves that dispersed naturally from the northern Rockies and British Columbia back to their native habitats in eastern Washington,” said Oliver Starr, a leading wolf advocate and activist. “Once again the agency is spending tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to shoot wolves from expensive helicopters, while the private rancher they seek to protect is paying pennies per day to graze his cattle on our lands – lands owned by all the taxpayers.”

“For the same amount of money, the State of Washington could fund more than 16,000 school lunches for kids, or buy more than 100 laptops for schools. Instead, taxpayer money is being diverted to a murderous program that produces no long-lasting result, subsidizes the ranchers, and raises moral and ethical questions regarding cruelty to animals. I’m calling on all Washington taxpayers to stand up to WFDW and put a stop to this expensive and senseless plan,” said Starr.

“Governments can lose sight of the need to justify their expenses in terms that taxpayers find reasonable, and this is certainly one of those cases,” said Eric Gillespie, a government spending expert and CEO of Govini, the leading business intelligence provider for the public sector. “When government agencies behave as though money is of no concern, or citizens suspect their tax receipts are enriching special interests at the expense of the public good, trouble usually follows. People rightfully expect that every tax dollar will be spent efficiently, fairly, and to serve the interests of all, especially when the economy is anemic and government budgets are tight."

Please contact members of Washington’s Congressional Delegation and urge them to stop wolf kills in Washington. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (5th District): 202-225-2006; Dan Newhouse (4th District): 202-225-5816; Dave Reichert (8th District): 202-225-7761; Suzan DelBene (1st District): 202-225-6311

To learn more, please contact Oliver Starr at oliver@owstarr.com or 310-779-9816

Contacts

Good Wolf
Oliver Starr, 310-779-9816
oliver@owstarr.com

Release Summary

Leading wolf advocate Oliver Starr says Washington State charging taxpayers $50k to exterminate a wolf pack in Eastern Washington while ranchers pay pennies to graze cattle on public land.

Contacts

Good Wolf
Oliver Starr, 310-779-9816
oliver@owstarr.com